On Breathing and Breath

Thu, 2015-01-15 09:11 -- Bonnie

"With all the techniques of breathing that I’ve explored over about 50 years, the one that works the best for me is to awaken my awareness and then to be effortlessly breathing rather than focusing on making the breath. And what that has done is taken the breath to the cellular level away from even the lungs and the diaphragms, coming to the place of just letting your breath breathe.

If your hand was on any part of your body, there would be very little movement, including your lungs and diaphragm. If they’re awake and everything is aware, everything knows what to do. At the cellular level, all of the cells are breathing. They know what to do. The fluid goes in and the fluid comes out, so there’s not a lot of huffing and puffing. Even the belly is quiet and calm.

So you breathe at the center of your body. By the center, I mean if you put a hand on the front and back of your body anywhere, it would be equally distributed, rather it’s to the front and back or the right and left or the diagonals or your head and your feet. There’s this ease of distribution.

So that the deeper the breath, the more cells are involved, rather than the more pressure. Letting go of the efforting and the anxiety to breathe or to perform. It doesn’t mean not to understand breathing or all the different ways to breathe, but that ultimately you can be restful in your breathing."

--Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen

Quote from Embodiment and Expression for Musicians and Singers